Japanese and Canadian Researchers Embark on Cross-Cultural Project on Anime Viewers and Manga Readers

Nov 9th 2012
Scholars who share an interest in audience research have joined forces to conduct a cross-cultural project with anime viewers and manga readers. The purpose of this cross-national research collaboration is to produce cross-cultural analyses of readers of manga and viewers of anime in and outside of its original cultural context of Japan. Other possible audience contexts in addition to Japan that will be analyzed as part of this audience research project are: Canada, USA, South Korea and Singapore.

This type of cross-cultural research can broaden our understanding of media, culture and identity. There is a growing body of literature on the spread of manga to North American readers. There are few studies that investigate reception of the content among readers from Japan and from the markets where this material is imported.

The researchers are conducting an online survey about watching anime and reading manga which can be accessed at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/anime-manga.

The survey is aimed at anyone who has read manga or watched anime- or both. It takes most respondents about 15 minutes to complete depending on the level of detail in some of the free-form responses. The purpose of the survey is both to generate broad data about anime viewers and manga readers across cultures and to help recruit potential interviewees for further participation. This spring the researchers are planning to conduct interviews with youth in the L.A area. They hope to expand to interviewing to elsewhere and possibly conduct interviews on line with people in other geographic areas in the future.

June M. Madeley, an Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John New Brunswick, Canada, has previously interviewed manga readers in Canada in addition to analyzing translated texts and the political economy of the translated manga industry in North America. Her work in this area has been published in the Journal of Popular Culture and as part of conference proceedings where she has presented her research on manga. Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, an Assistant Professor at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan has interviewed anime viewers in Japan and Singapore. Sugawa-Shimada and Madeley began collaborating on this project in the spring while attending the Association for Asian Studies conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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